I have always understood it to being converting POWs, (I figured) as some sort of repatriation, or foreign "conscription." The main reasoning behind that is that - by this date in the game, and after so many battles - France's conscripts would be closer to 10K; rather than barely over 100. I will rip out the beta patch, and see if I can post to you some screenshots of the old 1.02. There is also the disturbing fact of the conscript itemization: "Changes from city income: 0." This is not something that happens every turn, however, it should happen within 4 or 5 turns. So far, I have not seen it add any conscripts from anything besides draft/volunteers RGDs.
I know you guys are super busy with improving the game, and I give all of the Dev team high marks for amazing responsiveness and pro-activity. I will still suggest you that task someone on the staff to play the game were you can get further (immediate) confirmation. As I mentioned, this change from 1.02 to 1.03 makes it impossible to seriously play the game on an enjoyable level. Realism is very nice, and the micromanagement control/detail is incredibly intricate; however, it is a game to be enjoyed.